Channeling Max Weinberg

Nacci

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Being a drummer in a cover band you never know what is going to get thrown at you; from Dick Dale to Weezer.

My band has double header 4th of July gigs coming up and we added two Springsteen tunes.

That set me off on a Max Weinberg spree. What a drummer. He reminds me of Levon Helm, plays extremely well to the music but still manages to create iconic, original parts.

Still, I’m finding him hard to replicate. Where is this guy coming from? The energy, the studied rudiments. I don’t know.

How are you guys channeling Weinberg?



 

MrDrums2112

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I am not a Springsteen fan at all, but I love Max’s playing. He has quite a positive energy and just drives the band with such confidence. I think that is the key with channeling Max.
 

Tmcfour

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Yeah, Springsteen has this desperate drive to his music. Bruce plays and sings every song like it's his last and the band does as well. Max Weinberg is no exception. There's just this youthful exuberance to his playing even if he is over 60. So to channel him I would say don't hold back. Play like it's your last time and don't worry about the trip back!
 

Nacci

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Yeah, Springsteen has this desperate drive to his music. Bruce plays and sings every song like it's his last and the band does as well. Max Weinberg is no exception. There's just this youthful exuberance to his playing even if he is over 60. So to channel him I would say don't hold back. Play like it's your last time and don't worry about the trip back!
Well said, I think that is great insight and advice.
 

bigbeat

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I seem to remember Max saying in an interview that he studied with Bernard Purdie.
 

DanC

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Max started out as a home grown rocker, and he kicked butt on those early albums. But later on, he retrained himself and developed a more technical traditional style, including his posture, which we saw during his tv career. Which style are you trying to get to?
 

Nacci

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Max started out as a home grown rocker, and he kicked butt on those early albums. But later on, he retrained himself and developed a more technical traditional style, including his posture, which we saw during his tv career. Which style are you trying to get to?
Well, I never really paid any attention to Weinberg. I just had a few Springsteen songs laid in my lap but it is the “Born in the USA” style specifically I’m intrigued with right now.

On first blush it is not difficult drumming technically but some how he is putting his own flavor on things that is not easy for me to replicate.

Even in the beginning during his snare strikes he has a few odd ball random bass notes that I though was cool. Then in the body of the song I feel his hats are open more than most drummer would have played them which I really like.

The more I listen to this song the more I think it is just a masterful performance on the drums.

He keeps the beat clean for Bruce’s vocals then kills the bombastic fills coming out of the measure. I really just love this guys fills and there are a ton of them in this song. Real fearless stuff.

While all this is moving along he plays gray with the keyboard player too, they really have some special chemistry going on.

One real gem is the interlude at 4:00 for four measures. Can’t say that I have seen that in many songs. Weinberg sets it up great, then buzzes the hell out of the whole thing with great fills, feel and speed until he crescendos perfectly out of it. Great stuff.

I have been having a lot of fun going back and listening to Weinberg’s drumming with Springsteen. Been a long time since I’ve enjoyed listening to a drummer play this much.

..
 

Nacci

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Very early on I changed my mind about Weinberg after reading this interview in MD when it first came out :

Well that was an interesting read. Serious article though, it was like reading an autobiography. Out of curiosity what was your opinion of Weinberg before reading this article?
 

ThomFloor

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I learned a lot of respect for him trying to copy his parts on Born to Run.
Very difficult to play identically. Some of his parts seem very symphonic to me.

Then you go to Dancing in the Dark and its a constant same beat the WHOLE way through, no fills, embellishment, or crash. Lots of discipline there.
 

Nacci

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I learned a lot of respect for him trying to copy his parts on Born to Run.
Very difficult to play identically. Some of his parts seem very symphonic to me.

Then you go to Dancing in the Dark and its a constant same beat the WHOLE way through, no fills, embellishment, or crash. Lots of discipline there.
Crazy, I was just listening to “Dancing in the Dark”. His right hand has some serious “Santeria” endurance.
 

ThomFloor

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Crazy, I was just listening to “Dancing in the Dark”. His right hand has some serious “Santeria” endurance.
Yes...and do you mean Santeria the religion or the Sublime song?
 

KungFuGrip

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I learned a lot of respect for him trying to copy his parts on Born to Run.
Very difficult to play identically. Some of his parts seem very symphonic to me.

Then you go to Dancing in the Dark and its a constant same beat the WHOLE way through, no fills, embellishment, or crash. Lots of discipline there.
FWIW, the album version of "Born To Run" has Boom Carter on the drums. That song was recorded long before the rest of the album, by which time Max had joined the E Street Band.
 

Johnny D

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FWIW, the album version of "Born To Run" has Boom Carter on the drums. That song was recorded long before the rest of the album, by which time Max had joined the E Street Band.
That’s correct. I was going to point out it was Ernie Carter on the title track. Very different player from Max.

Max started out as a show drummer which helped him land the gig. There was a big cattle call when Bruce fired Vinnie Lopez after the first two records. Max’s ability to play dynamically and follow Bruce’s cues gave him a huge edge.
 

jptrickster

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Max is certainly no slouch but I prefer Vinnies playing. Used to see those guys in Asbury when they were just starting out , just amazing raw energy. Max to me is a pretty basic solid driving no frills Rock drummer with the ability to swing hard, yeah he’s got that going on.
 

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